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Academic Director of CIW, Dr. Zachery Stein has been interviewed by PatternDynamics founder, Tim Winton.

“Zak and Tim discuss complexity, how to see it, how to manage it, and the power of values aligned with a ‘systems view’ in creating a more generative humanity. Zak is Chair of the Education Program at Meridian University. He received his Bachelor’s from Hampshire College, and his Master’s and Doctorate from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Zak co-founded Lectica, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to promoting social justice through the reform of large-scale standardized testing, where he worked for over a a decade. Zak’s publications have bridged topics in the philosophy of education, neuroscience, developmental psychology, and psychometrics. He has recently completed a forthcoming book: Social Justice and Educational Measurement: John Rawls, the History of Testing, and the Future of Education (Routledge 2016).”

In the recording, Tim and Zak discuss the following:

“0:15 Indigenous Models: Mind as Organism

2:15 Piaget’s Natural View of the Mind

3:00 Baldwin: Mind as Metabolic System

3:45 Fischer: Piaget through the neuroscience revolution

4:45 Fischer’s Skill Domains: ‘clusters of inter-related lines’

5:35 Complex Adaptive System: mind as ecosystem

7:00 Transition from Machine Model to Living Systems Model

7:30 Using a living systems view to thrive in complex circumstances

8:15 Competing Paradigms: Newton and Descarte’s clockwork universe

9:00 Not Embracing Complexity but Simplifying It

10:00 Machines are Fragile; Living Systems are Anti-Fragile

11:30 Disruptions strengthen living systems, but destroy mechanical systems

13:10 Frameworks for Understanding Complexity

13:30 Practices for Managing Complexity Better

14:15 Transforming Consciousness to Thrive on Complexity

14:30 Embodied, Engaged, and Interpersonal Practices

14:45 Ten Directions Practices

15:00 PatternDynamics Practices

15:50 Cross Quadrant Patterns

16:15 First Simplicity vs Second Simplicity

17:00 GDP: Oversimplification (First Simplicity): ‘profoundly limits decision making’

18:00 Second Simplicity Involves the Patterns and Principles that Matter in a System

18:45 Human Systems are Normatively Constituted

19:45 Identities Have to Do with Values

20:30 Species Wide Identity Crisis

21:00 From the Grand Narratives of Modernity to the Fractured Pluralism of Post Modernity

21:50 The Big Bifurcation Point

22:45 The Values that Bind Us Together

23:00 The Most Powerful Force in Human Affairs

23:40 The Polarity of Love and Power

24:45 New Stories for Us to Emerge

25:00 The Story of Second Simplicity that Will Allow Humanity to Emerge

25:30 Kurt Fischer: Pre-eminent psychological Meta-theorist vs Ken Wilber: Pre-eminent Speculative/Philosophical Meta-theorist

27:20 Vision and Mission of Lectica: A Fischerian Liberating Structure

28:15 Separating the Facts from the Norms Only So You Can Reintegrate Them

28:35 Normative Loading of Systems/Ecological Insights

28:45 The ‘Is’ vs ‘Ought’ Thing

29:20 The Facts/Values Feedback Loop

30:00 The Third Story

31:35 Leveraging Emergence in Evolving Complexity

31:50 Post Conventional Identity Development

32:30 Self as Process

33:00 Re-Storying Humanity as a Complex Adaptive System

33:30 The Fluid–Flux-Based–Processural System

34:45 The Story of Who You Are

35:30 New Language, New Language Games

35:45 Signs of Catastrophic Bifurcation

36:30 Emmanuel Wallerstein: World Systems Analysis

38:30 The Danger of Eugenics

39:00 Little Things Can Make a Big Difference at Moments of Systems Bifurcation

40:45 A Time of Potentiated Change

42:30 Scaffolding Complex Problem Solving

46:30 The Role of Uniqueness (Diversity)

47:30 Cookie Cutter Roles Just Don’t Exist Any More

48:30 Love: The Normative Heavy Hitter

50:30 The Shadow Side of Totalitarianism

52:15 Central Normative Commitments:The Binding Social Force

53:00 The Zero Sum Game

53:30 John Rawls: The View from Everywhere

54:10 Moral Musical Chairs

55:30 Getting the Right Feedback Loops

56:15 Generativity Works for Everybody

56:40 Take the Rawlsian Test”

They also explicitely discuss Unique Self towards the end.

Listen to or download the recording of the interview here.

Zak is also co-facilitating “Thrive on Complexity”, an online course at Meridian University together with Aftab Omer, Ph.D.. Click here for details and to sign up for a free recording of a webinar.


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